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29 -- Part 2: Nationalism in Asia
There was a dark side to nationalism.
They were the enemy.
European imperialists were nationalists, and they generated the will to destroy European empires and foreign economic domination.
First, nationalism stimulated conflicts between peoples in large states, for example, Chinese against Japanese.
Second, it often heightened tensions between ethnic or religious groups within states, like British India and the Ottoman Empire.
Before 1914, these states were formed by authoritarian rulers like the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires.
When their rule fell, the different peoples could easily argue, seeking to divide the state or to dominate the enemy within it's borders.
Nationalism's appeal in Asia was not limited to territories under European rule.
The growth of international trade after 1850 had drawn millions of Asians into the Western-dominated world economy, disrupting local markets and creating hostility toward European businessmen.
There was an attempt to expand Western imperialism in the Middle East.
The Ottoman Empire was destroyed by the British and French in 1916.
Europeans wanted to replace Turks as the main rulers in the region.
As wel as Jewish nationalists arriving from Europe, Turkish, Arab, and Persian nationalists reacted violently.
The Europeans came into conflict with each other in Palestine as they struggled to win nationhood.
The Ottoman Turks were pushed out of the Balkans in 1914 and their Arab provinces were on the verge of revolt.
The Ottomans' defeat in the First World War was a result of that revolt.
When the Allies tried to implement their plans, including independence for the Armenia people, the leader of the rebellion was born.
The Ottoman Empire was subject to European pressure and failed to reform in the late 19th century.
Exiles and young army officers who wanted to save the Ottoman state started revolutions because of the decline in international stature and domestic tyranny.
The Young Turks, who succeeded in the 1908 revolution, were deter mined to hold together the remnants of the multiethnic empire.
After being defeated in the Balkan War of 1912, the Young Turks redoubled their efforts in Southwest Asia.
Syria, along with modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jordan, were the most important of their possessions.
For centuries the largely Arabic populations of Syria and Iraq had been tied to their Ot toman rulers by their common faith in Islam.
Beneath the surface, ethnic and linguistic tensions exist between Turks and Arabs.
The "Arab movement" was made a reality by Young Turk actions.
Young Turks promoted a narrow Turkish nationalism.
The Ottoman Empire was further centralized and the influence of the Turkish language was extended.
In 1909, the Turkish government slaughtered thousands of Christians from Armenia, a start to the slaughter of more than a million people during the First World War.
Arab discontent grew.
The Turks aligned themselves with the Central Powers during World War I.
The Young Turks drew the Middle East into a European war.
The British encouraged the al iance with vague promises of an independent Arab kingdom.
After the war, Arab nationalists felt betrayed by Great Britain and the West, leaving a legacy of distrust and hatred.
The goal was to divide the Ottoman Empire.
The Picot Agreement was contrary to British promises regarding Arab independence after Iraq.
British Cabinet members believed that the Balfour Declaration would help the British war effort by appealing to German, Austrian, and American Jews.
The idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine is supported by others.
11 percent of the predominantly Arab population in the Ottoman territory in 1914 was made up of Jews.
The "National Home for the Jewish People" was implied to the Arabs and the Zionists in order to make them compatible with majority rule.
Arab nationalists met in Damascus in 1919 as the General Syrian Congress in order to call for political independence after the failed attempts at Versailles.
The British mandate in Palestine incorporated the Balfour Declaration and its commitment to a Jewish national home.
Iraq was declared an independent kingdom by a congress.
The Western reaction to events in Syria and Iraq was swift and decisive.
Damascus was taken by the French army in July 1920.
The French took over.
The British established control in Iraq after putting down an uprising.
Turkish rule in the Middle East appeared to have been replaced by Western imperialism.
After the end of the First World War, French and British troops entered Constantinople to begin a five-year occupation.
Turkey was dismembered and reduced to a puppet state because of a treaty.
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